I wrote a poem, “White…

I wrote a poem, "White Sheets" -- really, I took an essay and reworked it into a poem, which is sort of cheating, I think. But still, I think I like it. I packed it up and sent it off to Ploughshares, along with "Learning the Hour" and "I make beautiful" -- only to realize that I messed up the submission form in three separate ways. Sigh. And they don't want e-mail about submissions, so I don't think there's anything for me to do but cross my fingers and hope they don't mind too much. Frustrating. I'm going to send the to Barrow Street too, I think, and maybe some other places.

Then I took a deep breath and went back to AP, this time reading through Minal's critique on the manuscript (as opposed to her overall notes). Somehow the line edits are much easier to take, much more encouraging -- I think because they seem manageable (fix this line here) as opposed to impossible (make it better). Not that she really phrased it that way, but y'know. Plus, she sometimes comments on bits she likes, which I desperately need right now. (If anyone would like to read my book and just praise the good parts for me, I could really use that, I think. 'kay, thanks.)

Also, Minal's line edits are sometimes quite funny, like this one:

Grammatically, I can see how a fruit salad can be incorporated into your life, and how it, or the act of preparing it, could be one of several elements that (help) redefine who you are. But I cannot see how a fruit salad can recognize who you've always been deep down.

Or this:

If I submitted the preceding sentence for your workshop, I think you would tell me that 'gorgeous, beautifully, comfortable, livable" don't really tell the reader much about what the place actually looks like. Try the 'be chaste' exercise from Le Guin?

I laughed for a good minute for each of these, and if the laughter was slightly tinged with the hysteria of the crazed writer, still, laughing is better than crying. So thanks, sweetie.

4 thoughts on “I wrote a poem, “White…”

  1. Uh, Ploughshares doesn’t accept previously published work. Generally, publishing online counts, even if it’s on your own site. So “Learning the Hour” would be ineligible. Pity.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Yes, that’s one of my three mistakes. Sigh. I forgot I’d put that piece online. Hopefully they’ll still consider the other two.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Not so tiny, sadly. Although one of them isn’t entirely my fault, I think — when I’d looked at their guidelines initially, I went by a page that said you could submit two subs in prose and two in poetry in a reading period. I already had one in prose out to them (which I sort of regret now, because I don’t like it as well as some of my other work, but okie), and thought it would be fine to send in one in poetry. But *after* I submitted, I ran into their main FAQ, and on that page, it says only one sub at a time, regardless of genre. So they may just decide to reject both subs out of hand.

    The other error is relatively minor, I think, in that I forgot to note that this would be a sim sub. I may just wait to send it to Barrow Street, though, given the other errors. Sigh. We’ll see.

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